MY TASTEFUL OPINION: Need some comforting? Then go treat your taste buds!
I woke up this morning feeling extremely crappy. My eyes felt swollen, my head felt like it contained a 50-pound weight, and my throat hurt…again. I just got over a week-long illness two weeks ago, so I really wasn’t thrilled to wake up with this familiar, unwelcome feeling. But I had plans to meet Jamiroquai* for another soup tasting. I have responsibilities to fulfill, darn it!
I dragged my butt out of bed, hopped into the shower and then continued with my daily light makeup routine. Normally I put on makeup because, admittedly, I care about how others perceive me, and I need all the help I can get to look my age (I’m 31 and look anywhere from 18-25), especially when I’m at work. This morning, the carefully drawn-on mask was a way to trick myself into thinking that I looked good and was feeling healthy. It gave me the necessary push to start the day with a better attitude.
When I finally made it to the restaurant, Double Crown, Jamiroquai* and I were thankfully seated right away. We apparently got there right before the crowd. Phew!
I asked the waiter how big the Mulligatawny soup ($9) was, and he advised that it was a decent-sized bowl but that it might be good to order a side dish. So we ordered a small baked goods basket ($5) and a side of roasted mushrooms ($5) as well.
As the Mulligatawny was being placed in front of me, I was reminded of the Billi-Bi at Minetta Tavern, but a much prettier version. To quote New York’s blurb: “This vegetarian rendition of the imperial relic combines puréed and whole red lentils with enough spices (green chiles, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and black pepper)…Floating atop is a piquant garnish of preserved lemon, red onion, cilantro stems, and a couple crimson turnip wedges pickled in beet juice.”
I really didn’t want to mess up the art, but I dunked my spoon and lifted a spoonful to my impatient mouth. In the few seconds between the lifting and the shoving into my mouth (gracefully, of course), my senses were pleasantly greeted by the spicy scent. Then, when the orange sea flowed down, it enlivened me even more. The green chiles definitely left their itty bitty mark – a nice little parting gift to say, “Hey, we’re here to give you that extra kick!” So, not only did the bowl leave me feeling perfectly satiated, it also comforted me, even if it was just temporarily. It would make for the perfect winter cabin meal after a long day of snowboarding/skiing (if I actually did this sorta thing).
Alas, our meal was over, and Jamiroquai and I headed to the bathroom before venturing back outside. It was the best bathroom experience yet. (Stay with me, it’s not going to get gross.) The lighting in the individual stalls made you feel extra beautiful. Super smooth, porcelain skin and plump pink lips – I challenge everyone to not stare at yourself in the bathroom mirror while you’re there.
Needless to say, the makeup, Double Crown’s Mulligatawny and the special lighting all contributed to my feeling better for a few hours. Sometimes the best way to make it through a rough day is to create the illusion that everything is better than it is.
316 Bowery (at Bleecker)
New York, NY
*My “twin,” who will probably be accompanying me a lot on these tastings, shall now be dubbed “Jamiroquai” from here on out. It’s an inside joke, so don’t get confused. I’m not out with the band. :)
Under $6 – It’s your lucky day!